Season 2, Episode 4: Interview with Kate Frank



Knitting

In this episode, I chat with Kate Frank of Kathryn Frank Fiber Arts on etsy and the Kitchen Stitching podcast. I mentioned that she's offering a coupon code for any purchase in her shop. That code is knitreadpray for 20% off anything in the shop. If you do buy her yarn, please let me know and I'll provide a copy of my newest pattern, Lingering over Tea,  made with the yarn pictured above!

Speaking of that pattern, if you'd like to receive a coupon code from me for a free copy on Mother's Day, please sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right.

Reading


I review The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson and Isabella of Castile by Giles Tremlett in this episode. Very different books - I loved them both!

Bible Study


I mention the E100 Bible Reading Challenge which I've started as well as the Facebook group for the podcast. As I mentioned, I'd like to get the group going again as a place for Bible and Scripture discussion.

Sentient Moss


The song at the end is Unit Zero, written by my son, Joe Fadem, and performed by his band Sentient Moss. You can find their entire CD on Soundcloud, bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes.


Spring Break Reading & Crafting

Spring break came very late this year, and I think students, teachers, and parents all felt the effects of the long stretch of school days since the beginning of January. While my to do list was filled with both life and school tasks to catch up on, I put aside time each day to read and craft.

I am the much better for that!


Knitting

I cast on some Tahki Cora Hand Paint yarn I have had in my stash for ages (and by ages, I mean 5+ years). The colors are very spring even though it was 80 degrees the day I started knitting with this wool and alpaca blend. I stumbled upon this simple Lace Prayer Shawl pattern by Renee Rico while searching for a lace pattern for some fingering weight yarn I wanted to knit up.

Obviously, I'm easily distracted while on spring break!

This pattern fit my needs perfectly: knit a lace pattern that's not too challenging (break after all) with yarn I have in stash in spring colors. I admit, I've had to rip back a few times when I've paid more attention to what's going on around me than the pattern, but it's easy to memorize and quick to correct. It's also rectangular rather than triangular so no pesky increases!

The yarn is from two dye lots which is noticeable if you look for it, but I think I'll keep this one for me. No regrets!

Cross-Stitch

I don't cross-stitch every day, but when I do, I cover a lot of ground! This pattern is called Spring Sheepies from the Spring 2016 issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework magazine. I stitched those cute sheep this week!


Reading

I requested Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Bachman after I read a number of good reviews on Yarn Along posts. After finishing a long (and I do mean long) biography of Isabella of Castile, I started this book having no idea what to expect.

I love it!

This has to be a movie, and Francis McDormand must be Britt-Marie. I admit, she reminds me of my mother in many ways (although her cheating husband is nothing like my father). Britt-Marie likes things clean and orderly. Britt-Marie loves a good list. Britt-Marie needs a job and finds one in a dying town called Borg caring for a soon to close recreation center. (As a Star Trek fan, this name was ominous, but the author is Swedish and one assumes Borg is in Sweden.)

With the recreation center comes a tribe of misfit children, some young gansters, a shop owner called Somebody, and a kind and slightly awkward policeman named Sven who tries very hard to take Britt-Marie out on a date.  On top of all that, Britt-Marie becomes the coach of the children's soccer team knowing nothing about soccer or, really, children.

She is, after all, as her husband says, "socially incompetent".

I'm reminded of Olive Kitteridge when reading about Britt-Marie so perhaps that's where my casting comes from. If you like a book with unusual characters, subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) comedy, a heroine who has more depth than most, and the best ending I've read in a long time, check out Britt-Marie Was Here.

Every Tuesday, I join Nicole at the Keep Calm Craft On link party. Please join us by contributing a link to your fibery work in progress and current read and / or by checking out the posts to the link parties. You may find your next book or project waiting for you!

#100dayproject

As sad as I am that Ginny Sheller's Yarn Along has ended, I understand her decision and am treating this as an opportunity. Yarn Along provided structure for my new blog when I started a year ago as well as a new audience, but change is good, and this change came at just the right time!


The #100dayproject starts today. What's this project, you ask? It's a challenge to do something creative for 100 days. Most participants do something with art or photography since an integral part of the challenge is posting daily on Instagram.

I am not an artist or a photographer.

But I am a cross stitcher! I recently returned to cross stitch after a very long hiatus. Pattern content has changed since the early 90s; babies, unicorns, and Holly Hobby have been replaced by cottages, buildings, and houses.  Based on this new aesthetic, I've come up with a project that lends itself to my interests and talents.

I'm going to create an original cross stitch pattern based on the Allgor-Barkalow Homestead in my hometown of Wall, NJ. Every day on the way to work, I pass what is probably the only historical landmark in my town. In the 20 years I've lived here, I've never visited the museum or attended an event there.

I'm not even sure why it's a historical landmark.

At the start of the project, I plan to take a picture a day of the Homestead at various times of the day and analyze each with regard to a final image. For example, I need to remove the electrical wires and fire hydrant from the final image. Another issue: the only way to take a "head on" photo of the house is to stand in the middle of the cross street. That's a problem I've yet to solve!

This week, I'll start with photos like the one below and take a tour on Sunday when the museum is open.


If you'd like to follow my adventure, please check out my Instagram feed and the hashtag #100daysofAllgorBarkalow! You'll also find a weekly update here on the blog.

Are you participating in the #100dayproject? Are there any hashtags for this project that you recommend? If so, let me know in the comments!